Solar energy is better for the environment. That is an indisputable fact. The sun has been “energizing” the planet and its inhabitants for eons before fire, candles, and light bulbs. Solar energy does the job without added “side effects” from the (over) use of fossil fuels. Green energy is cleaner, safer, better.
But you probably already know this. The environmental benefits of solar energy are not new headlines. Experts, activists, and engineers have been touting the positives of “going green” with a renewable energy source for a while. The downside for most people was the high cost. However, recent advancements in solar technology have made this option less of a pipe dream and more of a possibility for all homeowners.
As beneficial as solar power is for the environment, you may still wonder about the personal and financial benefits.
Does solar energy also save you money? And if so, how?
The short answer is that, yes, using solar energy over traditional electricity will save you money. Solar energy has been proven to be a cheaper energy source year after year. The initial cost of switching to solar energy may seem high; however, the long-term investment in solar panels has both short and long returns.
If you transition from using traditional electricity to only solar energy, you will see immediate savings concerning your monthly energy costs. How much you save each month depends on (1) The cost of electricity in your area and (2) How much electricity you use. If your electric bill averages $250+ a month, your savings potential is more significant than your neighbor, who may only pay $85 per month for electricity.
How long will it take to recoup your initial solar investment? When we do our energy analysis and solar solutions for our clients, they average less than a 7-year return on investment. Remember, your savings will add up each month by not paying for electricity.
Another way that solar energy can be financially beneficial is through tax rebates and incentives. The current federal solar investment tax incentive allows homeowners to claim 26% of installation costs on their tax returns.
Switching to solar energy can not only be beneficial for the environment and your low/non-existent energy bill, but it can also increase the value of your home. Solar panels are an investment in more than just your energy use – they are also an attractive addition to your property.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a fool-proof formula or calculator that you can use to determine how much you will save through solar energy. Your energy needs are unique to you and your home, and your solar plan would also be singular and specific to your requirements. Your roof is different, your trees and shading are different, your rate plan is probably unique, and your main electrical panel may be out of code. You will want a trusted solar educator to ensure your expectations are appropriately set. Bright Planet Consulting provides a complete and thorough energy analysis & custom solar solution, so you see everything – the potential savings and the upfront costs – to make an informed decision about switching to solar energy.